Democrats currently have a nine-seat lead in the State House. However, because every single seat is up for election every two years, things can change very quickly. If our crushing defeat in the 2016 election taught us nothing else, it’s that there are absolutely no guarantees. The State Representatives elected in 2018 will be responsible for redistricting in 2020, which makes keeping the House crucial to protecting our state from Republican gerrymandering.
HOUSE DISTRICT 17
Why it matters
This seat is currently held by Democrat Tony Exum, a 35-year veteran of the Colorado Springs Fire Department who retired as Battalion Fire Chief. As a legislator, Rep. Exum has prioritized tax credits to offset the cost of child care for low-income families, increasing benefits for the medically disabled, and programs to support local fire departments and better protect Colorado from wildfires.
Rep. Exum won his last election by 1800 votes, and will be targeted by well-funded Republican attacks in 2018. Rep. Exum’s district is extremely competitive, and a well-organized campaign with strong support from grassroots volunteers and donors will be crucial to help progressives defend this seat.
Democrat: 12,840 | Republican: 10,094 | Unaffiliated: 16,942
Colorado Springs, Security-Widefield, Stratmoor. Densely populated district comprised mostly of south-central Colorado Springs.
District map (click to view interactive)
What's at stake
Despite a notable lack of media coverage, many of the policies that most directly affect people’s lives are actually made at the state level. With a fully progressive state government, we can go beyond merely resisting Trump’s destructive agenda and begin advancing policies that actually improve people’s lives.
To truly understand what’s at stake in state politics, just look at what each party in Colorado has prioritized (but not always being successful at) in recent years:
Creating free all-day kindergarten for families throughout the state
Easing TABOR restrictions to end the unnecessary, self-imposed funding crisis facing our schools, roads, and hospitals
Making Colorado a leader in renewable energy by requiring at least 30% of energy from renewables by 2020
Making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Joining the National Popular Vote Compact to end the Electoral College as we know it
Fighting to defend women’s rights and reproductive freedoms — especially the constitutionally protected right to choose
Reducing funding for k-12 education and higher education by thousands of dollars per student
Supporting and defending TABOR, the most restrictive conservative tax policy in the country — making it effectively impossible for the state to build a surplus or fund basic services
Blocking efforts to ban oil and gas drilling withing 1000ft of schools and neighborhoods
Blocking efforts ban the tortourous, cruel practice of “gay conversion therapy” from being performed on minors
Defunding the Colorado health care exchange and cutting rural hospital funding for medicaid patients
Making all forms of abortion illegal, even in cases of rape or incest, by criminalizing abortion as a class 1 felony — the same category as first-degree murder and actual treason
How to help
Volunteer! Nothing helps candidates more than grassroots volunteers. Knocking doors, making calls, and helping staff with competitive campaigns is one of the biggest ways you can make a difference.
Donate! The only way to beat the Republican fundraising machine is with an army of small donors. Your donations help campaigns hire staff, organize volunteers, and get out the vote.